In March 2009 Chinese authorities denied the vessel permission to pass between Taiwan and China.
In August 2009, Marcus Langseth was named in a Canadian lawsuit seeking to halt its seismic tomography experiment. The lawsuit was dismissed, diplomatic clearance was issued and the ship sailed after a delay of a day.
^"New Seismic Vessel Will Look Deep Under Oceans". Science Daily. 2007-12-04. Retrieved 2011-11-02. "The academic community's most advanced seismic-research vessel was dedicated here today, opening potential new windows on natural hazards, earth's evolution, and other vital questions. The R/V Marcus G. Langseth, owned by the U.S. National Science Foundation, will generate CAT-scan-like 3D images of magma chambers, faults and other structures miles below the world's seabeds. To be used by dozens of cooperating institutions, it will be operated for NSF by Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory."mirror
^Jane Qiu (2009-03-31). "China denies US ship access to Taiwan Strait". Nature News. Retrieved 2011-11-02. "The research vessel Marcus G. Langseth will have to steer clear of the waters that separate Taiwan from mainland China, after the Chinese government denied the US seismic research vessel permission to sail in the area."mirror
^"Lawsuit Seeks to Halt U.S. Blasts in Canadian Marine Protected Area". Environmental News Service. 2009-08-13. Retrieved 2011-11-02. "Two environmental groups are taking the Canadian government to court to stop loud seismic blasting by an American research vessel that threatens endangered and threatened whales in a Canadian marine protected area. U.S. researchers have asked Canada to grant a controversial seismic vessel access to the Endeavour Hydrothermal Vents, a marine protected area 250 kilometers (155 miles) off British Columbia's coast and a habitat of endangered blue whales, threatened fin whales, and other marine life."mirror